Arnold and the Origin of Species

“‘Our ancestor was a hairy quadruped, with pointed ears and a tail, probably arboreal in habit.’ This is very possibly true and in any case how could I dispute the point? But regarding this poor chap, this hairy quadruped, with pointed ears and a tail, there must have been something in him that inclined him to Greek!”

– Matthew Arnold

Reason for History

“There is the perfectly correct instinct that in some way we remain very close to those who preceded us over centuries and generations, and in some ways we are also quite different and history dwells within this wonderfully delicate problematic area between kinship and remoteness. We need it because we need to rebel against the shortness of our own span of years. We need a kind of purchase on a length of time that will tell us about our humanity that it is longer than our own allotted three-score and ten – I think that’s very, very deep in human instinct.”

– Simon Schama

II Samuel 12:11-12

11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.

12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses

On Our Children Ourselves

“In the past couples did just have children, it was the way life was. Today, many of us see parenthood as a lifestyle-choice, part of our self-fulfilment – we invest our children with our own hopes and fears. Our children are seen as some sort of extension of us.”

– Kirsty Young

On The Cynics

‘There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs, eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their philosophy. The fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them.’

– Dudley. D.R. 1937. A History of Cynicism from Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D. London, Great Britain: Methuen & Co. (1998) p. 5